Having fielded a mix of juniors and Under 21s in the McGrath Cup defeat last Sunday, the senior squad’s return from a team vacation in Miami has enabled manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice to field a more recognisable 15 for the trip to Tipperary tomorrow.
Though Kerry cannot make the final of the competition — Cork will meet Clare next Friday night in the decider — the game in Tipperary town is an opportunity for a number of established players to get some game-time into their legs. After all, the opening Allianz League Division 1 clash against Dublin in Croke Park is only two weeks away. Kerry will be short for that in every sense — with half a dozen starters unavailable through injury and club commitments.
Eleven of tomorrow’s match day squad were on duty last September for the All-Ireland final, and there will be more than a passing interest in the Kerins O’Rahillys double-act in midfield, with Tommy Walsh partnering David Moran. Walsh has a point to prove and some time to prove it — Anthony Maher is out after a hip operation and Bryan Sheehan is preparing for St Mary’s All-Ireland Club IFC semi-final next week.
Corner back Briain Ó Beaglaoich is a very capable footballer, and along with Podge O’Connor, Philip O’Connor, and Jamie O’Sullivan, retains his place from last Sunday’s defeat to the Banner.
B Kealy; B Ó Beaglaoich, M Griffin, F Fitzgerald; P Murphy, K Young (captain), P O’Connor (Legion); D Moran, T Walsh; P O’Connor (Cordal), J Buckley, J O’Sullivan (Legion); B J Keane, A Fitzgerald (Castlegregory), S O’Brien.
B Kelly, J Lyne, T O’Sullivan (Dingle), P O’Sullivan (Valentia), W Guthrie (Austin Stacks), C Cox (Listowel).